Endangered archives blog

News about the projects saving vulnerable material from around the world

3 posts from September 2011

22 September 2011

Research Grants 2011

So far this year the EAP has funded 8 pilot projects and 10 major projects, details of which are available on the awards webpages.

A diverse range of projects were funded, including:

  • A survey of native administration records in Malawi
  • Digitisation of records in Bolama, the first capital of Portuguese Guinea
  • Preservation of parish records held in provincial archives in Brazil
  • Photographic collections in Mali
  • Early missionary records in the remote region of Mizoram, India
  • Survey of Jewish archives in Hungary, scattered after World War II
  • Digitisation of the national sound archives of Comoros
  • Arabic manuscripts from Djenne, Mali
  • Digitisation of provincial newspapers held in regional archives in Peru
  • A survey of church archives in Botswana
  • Preservation of notarial records from the peninsula of La Guajira, Colombia

The Programme is now accepting applications for the next round of funding - full details of the application procedure and documentation are available on our webpages. The deadline for submission of preliminary applications is 4 November 2011. Please pass on these details to any interested parties.

16 September 2011

August Accessions

During August we received material from the following projects:

EAP276: Documentation and preservation of Ambon manuscripts

The EAP276 project aims to conduct a survey of privately-held manuscripts in the Ambon archipelago, particularly in the areas of the former kingdoms Kaitetu, Hitu, Hila, Laha, Banda, Halmahera and Seram. According to sources more than 200 manuscripts have been found in private collections around the Ambon archipelago, most of which are in a poor condition due to the effects of Ambon's tropical climate on the materials. Manuscripts which are located will be digitised (with the permission of their owners), and copies will be deposited with the National Library and University of Indonesia. 


EAP279: A rescue programme for the Matsieng Royal Archives, Lesotho

The royal family of Lesotho has been based in Matsieng since the 1858 war, when Matsieng was established by the second Lesotho King, Mohato (Letsie I). Since then Matsieng has been a hub for Basotho kingship and chieftainship, and a centre for administration, resulting in a large accumulation of documents of cultural, political, legal and economic significance.


The archives were kept in basic storage conditions at the Royal residence, and their condition deteriorated in December 2007 when the roof of the storage building collapsed. The University Archive arranged for an 'emergency repatriation' of the materials, and carried out conservation and preservation work in order to stabilise the collection. The EAP project team hope to digitise the materials where possible; it is estimated that 20% of the collection is too damaged to digitise. Additional funding sources will be sought to catalogue the material, and provide for its long term preservation.

EAP336: Preserving the lay bet andemta: the Ethiopian intellectual legacy on the verge of extinction

Project EAP336 has been discussed in detail before in our April Accessions and Easter Story posts.



02 September 2011

EAP and Digitised Manuscripts

In my last post I announced that the eight Collections copied by EAP012 Salvage and preservation of dongjing archives in Yunnan, China: transcript, score, ritual and performance have been catalogued. Four manuscripts from three of these Collections have now been added to The British Library's Digitised Manuscripts pages. From here, they can be viewed along side early medieval volumes dating back to the sixth century - some of the treasures of the Library. The Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog provides updates on the Library's digitised manuscripts, information on the manuscripts themselves and the cultures and contexts from which they came, and images from some of the already-digitised items. Well worth a look.

The four manuscripts we have added are:

EAP012/2/1 [Dong jing pu], an anonymous music score from Qilin District, Qujing City

EAP012/5/1 Luliang dong jing yin yue zheng li chu gao, a booklet of Dongjing music scores from Luliang County

EAP012/7/15 Chuxiong Yi zhou dong jing gu yue, a score of archaic Dongjing music from Chuxiong in jianpu notation

EAP012/7/16 Min zu min jian gu yue-gong chi pu yi jian pu ben, a transcript of an archaic Dongjing music score written in gongche notation.

The Digitised Manuscripts viewer has easy to use navigation tools that allow you to move around the items, choose pages, view two pages at once, rotate the images, zoom in and zoom out etc.